Category Archives: Autism

Woke

Woke

If there’s a plus side to this Trump Admnistration, it’s that it’s reminded me of a side of myself I’d let wither and die: my activist self.

I used to show up, speak out, carry signs, start petitions, consequences be damned.  I outed myself at work when someone sent an anti-gay e-mail to the whole staff, even though I could’ve been fired for being queer.  I had pink triangles on my dorm room door, even though fraternity brothers left me hate-notes and veiled sexual threats after big parties in the same building.  I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote my representatives.  I lived in special activist housing in college, where we hosted meetings and supplied materials for groups to advocate, to protest, to change the world.

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And then.

I got complacent, I guess.  I got married, and starting living the privileged life of a white cis-gender upper middle class woman in a heterosexual marriage.  Nothing is wrong with me myself being white, cis-gender, upper middle class, or married to a man…but I stopped speaking out.  Stopped hearing about places to show up.

When a dear friend of mine came out as bisexual a few years ago and told me about it, my first thought was being thrilled for him, and my second thought was that, in being silent all these years, I’d essentially closeted myself.

When Trump got the Republican nomination, I had to come to terms with all this – that the stakes are higher now.  I could just lie low and continue to live in my privilege…but that activist I used to be just rose up and said “no, you cannot.  You CAN NOT.”

And I argued with her.  My children, I said, especially my super-vulnerable eldest.  I can’t go marching.  I can’t leave.  I can’t devote all the energy activism takes.

And she reminded me, if this Administration is as sinister and fascist as our gut says it is…it’s the super-vulnerable who need us to speak up, stand up, show up.  That I’m stronger now than I was before because of my place of privilege.  People will listen to me.  They will see my skin color and my age (not too young and not too old) and my socio-economic status and my religion and they will listen to me in ways they will not listen to others.  I MUST SPEAK.

Then, of course, being me, I became completely overwhelmed by all there was to speak about, to do.  So, after being paralyzed and not-helpful for a bit, I decided just to do 1-3 things  a day.  Build momentum.  Slow and steady.  The drip of water that wears down the rock.

And I hate where our country is right now.  I’m afraid of so many things.

But finding that activist inside me again?  So good.

YES.  Yes we can.

Welp, here we are

Welp, here we are

I’m working today, teaching tonight, working tomorrow, kids have a half-day so they’re home, then Saturday is Christmas Eve – I’m singing/Guilding at 3 church services.

Which means, things undone?  They aren’t getting done before Christmas.

The only really-truly task that must happen is wrapping presents.  There’s The Morning to do, and then we leave right away for Ohio, so I’ll need to pack the presents for travel.

The only task I really-truly wish had happened is gifts *from* the boys to others.  It’s hard.  Isaac isn’t yet in that social awareness (autism!) and Kai is, but is too young to motivate it himself.  So, even though getting our couple gifts to everyone seems overwhelming enough, I’m also technically responsible for those two rugrats of mine.

And this year – nothing.

I don’t want my boys growing up thinking they only get, not give.  I want them to learn the joy of giving, of watching someone open the gift you made for them.

Next year, I guess.

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Tasks I haven’t yet given up on:

– wrapping presents (because I gotta).

– baking the Happy Birthday Jesus cake (because it’s a box mix and is super easy and can be done with kids at home).

– baking candied cherry almond nest cookies (because I can do it with Kai tomorrow afternoon).

– watching Holiday Inn/White Christmas/Bishop’s Wife – because I can do that when I wrap presents.

 

So there’s that.

moving forward

moving forward

Shit.

 

I mean, really.  That our country selected Donald Trump over, well, over anyone else is just shit.

And I’ve been afflicted with the white upper middle class guilt trauma of it all – weeping, lethargy, sadness.  When my Kai looked up at me and said, “but, Mommy, what if Donald Trump doesn’t do his best?” and I assured him that of course he would, he’s our new President, and in my heart I wasn’t sure what that even looked like – he’d do his best to fulfill his horrific campaign promises?  He’d do his best to change his mind, alienating his voters, and sparking yet more class and regional division in our country?  Is there anything we can hope for here? – I just gave up for a little while.

Then we got a stomach bug.  “We” meaning Andrew and myself, and the ripple affects of that were being behind on all work – household, office, church, self-care, you know, our children.

Shit.

But here we are in a new week, and I’m currently focusing on three things.

  1. I’m a gosh-darn HSP, and so yeah, the back-to-back Holy Land trip and then Tump-pocalyse was going to kick my ass.  Too.  Much.  Feels.  My needing some buffer days of non-functioning wasn’t me being lazy or lame, it’s just how I roll.  And now I’m able to do my thing again.
  2. I am a sooooo privilaged.  Other than repealing the autism-specific help of the ACA, or shifting the focus of autism research back to the stone age of vaccine-conspiracies (both things Trump has said he’d do), I’m bullet-proof.  I have healthcare independant of the ACA.  I’m done having babies, and I have an IUD good through the whole Trump presidency.  I’m in a heterosexual marraige, I’m white, I’m Christian, I’m employed…I’m personally going to be fine.  SO – I can help others.  I can speak.  I can swing my white-lady opinions around and around.  And I will.
  3. But.  I am, above all, pro-Peace.  A follower of Jesus.  I will never forget that every human being I encounter is created in God’s image, and that the most important commandment, second only to loving God, is to love your neighbor as yourself…and everyone I meet is my neighbor.

That’s enough to work on for now, I think.